An embodiment generally relates to an optical device suitable for use with an optical medium for the storage and retrieval of data. The optical device includes an illumination means for providing a beam of optical radiation of wavelength .lamda. and an optical path that the beam of optical radiation follows. The optical device also includes a diffractive optical element defined by a plurality of annular sections. The plurality of annular sections having a first material alternately disposed with a plurality of annular sections comprising a second material. The diffractive optical element generates a plurality of focal points and densely accumulated ray points with phase contrast phenomena and the optical medium is positioned at a selected focal point or ray point of the diffractive optical element.